Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Number of the day: 35!

     This blog post is brought to you by the number 35. 

There are only 35 days left until the due date and we are at 35 weeks today. Where has the time gone? Lucy's circulatory and musculoskeletal system is now complete, she is roughly 20in long and weighing in at around 5 1/2 pounds. She's packing on the pounds, which is probably why I'm so hungry all the time. Getting closer and closer to birthday size!
     Now that the due date seems so near my instincts have kicked in full blast. I've been obsessing over things like cleaning our closet, shampooing our carpets, dusting, laundry and just generally nesting in preparation for a new little one. I have lists for my lists categorizing what I need to get ready, what things need to be bought by when and just about every detail I can come up with is covered. One problem with my obsessing is I don't sleep well when I know I have stuff to do. Pft! Sleep? I could use that time to re-organize the linen closet! The last few nights have been torturous for sleep. Lucy wakes up around 10pm every night and commences gymnastics class. (See video at bottom) She will kick, squirm and do who knows what else in there for at least two or three hours. Ever try to sleep when somebody is consistently poking you? It's not easy. Then if she isn't doing acrobatics I can't seem to find a way to sleep that relieves the sharp pains in my back and hips. It's all a cruel joke really. I know I won't be sleeping much after July but my body refuses to let me enjoy these last few sleep filled nights.

     We went to my best friends baby shower last weekend and it was awesome getting to see somebody I've grown up with becoming a mom. I loved getting to see her and get some great bump buddy pictures too. Our baby shower is this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't been quite as focused on Lucy as I was with Roxas. I don't quite get the opportunities to with kiddo running around trying to body slam the dog, or climb a shelf, or otherwise just get himself into trouble. The baby shower will be nice to really get a chance to just focus on Lucy and celebrate her. Lots of friends and of course yummy cake. We are also doing a photo shoot on Monday with the ever talented Jenna (go check out her blog ) and I'm beside myself with excitement to get some good pictures of this big belly and our little family. Can't wait!

     Another thought, besides the untidy state of my pantry, surfacing more and more is the idea of labor for the second time. Thankfully I have this weird labor amnesia. I can remember being there, what was going on in my head, but I can't remember the pain. That being said I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried. There are a few things I would like to have go differently this time, but I'm not going to be surprised if they don't. I did without the epidural last time and hope to do the same again, after all I did it once and I'm still alive, but my big goal this time is forgoing the pain medication. We'll see how it goes but even bigger than that is my goal of not being induced again. I was very, very lucky to end up on the better side of the 50/50 shot of a c-section rate with inductions last time but I don't really want to tempt fate. I have my fingers crossed for a spontaneous labor and a hopefully shorter birth this time but only time will tell. The best I can do is hope and pray!

    Well that's pretty much all for now, I will have pictures from the shower next week!

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

34 Weeks- I'm One Lucky Woman

     Thirty four weeks, it seems like this past week has really flown by. The countdown on my refrigerator proudly displays there are only 42 days until the due date (and only 21 days until full term!). Seems like it was just yesterday I was all excited to write "99 days" and
     Lucy is growing still but her growth is slowing down a little bit. Her height is most likely maxed out now but she is still putting on weight with roughly 2 pounds left to gain until birthday! She's smushed up against my ever thinning tummy and this makes it very easy to pick out what is a foot, or knee or shoulder. She likes to stretch out though and having her little feet lodged into my side and ribs is not exactly comfortable. Her favorite time to stretch is of course, when I am trying to get to sleep. Sleep is such a luxury now. If it isn't horrendous pain in my hips/pelvic joints keeping me awake it's her stretching, poking and prodding me. No amount of pillows seems to support all the spots that need it. Not that long to go though, then I can go back to my preferred position of sleeping on my stomach. I really, really miss sleeping on my stomach.

     Things have been great around here, and I can only hope it lasts. Roxas is rambunctious as ever and always keeping me on my toes but we have so much fun together. I look at him and can't believe how much he has grown up in just a year. 15 little months have taken him from a helpless newborn to this crazy toddler running around, climbing on stuff and saying actual words. I actually looked at Kenny the other night and asked him "when did we become parents of a toddler?" What they say is so true, they grow up too fast. I long for the days where he would lazily sleep away in my arms or nap snuggled up on my chest. I guess it's a good thing but he's amazingly independent and wants to do as much as he can by himself. He still needs me for tons of things but I can already feel that sense of being needed starting to slip. He would much rather run around the house talking on his toy phone, or stack blocks than sit and snuggle with mommy. He's becoming such a big boy now and I'm so lucky to get to spend all this time with him.

     I am a very lucky woman. On my bad days I can sulk and get really upset that I don't have certain things or our life isn't the exact way I want it. Lately though I've been trying to focus on the really good things and keep my thoughts turned positive. It's easy to get lost in the "we can't" or the "if only" thoughts. I realize though that I am so unbelievably blessed with this life of mine. My husband has been my biggest blessing. Without him I wouldn't have this life. He works so hard to give his family everything we need and he could totally tell me to get a job, that I can't stay home, that I have to contribute but he is just crazy enough to love me and sacrifice so much for us. Truthfully he gets the short end of the stick. I feel guiltily spoiled in all the good things I get to enjoy. I love being a mom (most of the time) and I love studying to become a nurse (at least 78% of the time). I work hard too, trust me not every day goes smoothly, but I really do see how lucky I am to have what I do.
     Sure our lives before all these changes was great and I miss it. We weren't super rich or anything but I never worried too much about paying bills, we were able to live comfortably. We spontaneously went to movies, out to eat, bought crazy Disney collectibles, and spent time just enjoying each others company. Then we decided that we would have a baby, and I would leave my job to be a stay at home mom and go to nursing school. We lost my income and gained a huge expense. Seems like a really backwards idea now that I write it all out. We had faith though. I knew it was the right thing to do and even though this last year has had it's rough spots both financially and emotionally we have made it though all of them.
     Another huge blessing is our parents. That independent part of me shudders at the thought of having to ask our parents for help when we are a grown family our on our own but when I put myself in their shoes I get it. No matter how old Roxas or Lucy gets. No matter if they are on their own, have a family, whatever I would do anything to help them and be happy about it. Our parents have been the best support we could ever ask for. Always willing to help us out, with whatever we need and without complaint. They are there for us whenever we need them and no matter how old you get, you will always need your parents.

     Now with the arrival of our daughter looming in the very near future I can't think of a way that life could get any better. I know I won't feel this way when I've had 2 hours of sleep, haven't showered for a week, Roxas wants lunch and Lucy wants to nurse, but I know eventually I will miss those times. Eventually Lucy will be a little toddler running around being chased by her brother, and I will wonder what on Earth happened to my itty bitty babies that were just here. I will wonder when they grew up, I know I will blink and they will be teenagers with days of blocks and smooshed peas long gone. It's true, they grow up too fast. I'm lucky enough to be there for it and I intend to cherish it as much as I can while I have the chance.

     We may not have everything in life but we do have some amazingly good things. For now Roxas is napping and I'm enjoying some quiet time with my cankles up. Life is good. Life is very good.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

33 Weeks- The usual

     I have a 5 1/2 pound, 20in long, very wiggly little belly tenant who is just growing more by the minute. Because of tremendous brain growth, her head circumference has increased by nearly half an inch just this week. [insert me pounding my head on desk] She is becoming more and more like a newborn now. This week her immune system has been shined and polished as it gets ready to take on the onslaught of germs out here in this big, bad, world. She has also maxed out her amniotic fluid levels, there is officially more baby than fluid in this big belly. Unfortunately that means less cushioning for the elbows, knees and what I'm convinced are extra limbs, to poke and prod at me. She is still in what I call the "launch ready" position: head down, nice and low in the belly. She may or may not move back up before the big day.
     Exhaustion is only the tip of the iceberg for me now. Now I remember this point from last time. It's when my body turns on me. Up until this point I've felt pretty decent, all things considered. I could have had a worse time. Until now. Now I get mad that I can't do things that I want to do because I physically can't. Just plain physically unable. It's infuriating. In addition to the extra weight on my frame I also get the added fun of carrying Roxas on my hip. It can get a little taxing. I also found myself cursing my washing machine the other day. It's a front loader...which means under normal circumstances I bend over to shove the clothes inside. I realized I can't actually do that now...I have to get on the ground, on my knees to load the washer. Oh the joys.

     Unpleasantness aside, I find myself getting small pockets of time where I can really wallow in all that fun excitement of having a baby in your belly. Sometimes life slows down just enough for me to sit and rub my belly, poking the parts that stick up. Feeling her react to my movements, feeling her react to my touch. Even having been here before I still can't wrap my head around the idea of a baby in there. A few times this past week Kenny and I have had the discussion of "holy crap...I can't believe we are having another kid...soon." It's really kind of snuck up on us. Really. As much as the days seem to drag on and on they also speed by.

     All too soon I will find myself with a baby girl in my arms and a little boy on my lap, my kids. I've started using the word kid in its plural form. Our kids. It seems so different. I'd be nuts if I weren't scared about how having two will change our lives, but much like the frog in the slowly boiling don't seem to notice the change kids bring until it's already done.

     Speaking of little boys. Roxas had his 15 month check up and shots last Friday. He is growing like a little weed. He's in the 75th percentile for height and 95th for weight. His head is still off the chart. His upper right and left molars are about 75% of the way through now and there are few things I hate more than teething. I feel so bad for him. You can tell he is utterly miserable and there isn't a whole heck of a lot I can do. Thankfully it does seem like the worst is over for these molars. Too bad there are a bunch more to teeth to go. 

     Lucy and I had our check up too. Doctor gave us a gold star saying my weight gain was good (only 13lbs wooooo!) blood pressure looked good, belly is measuring within normal and the heartbeat was a strong 145 and Lucy was in the right position. We go back again next week, and then every week after that. It's getting close!

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

32 Weeks- It's going to be a busy month

     We're just plugging right along and things are going as well as they can I guess. I have been amazed by how much I had forgotten about pregnancy. I'm starting to think two kids sounds pretty good, but I know as soon as Lucy is born I will forget again. The last few months and weeks are probably the longest, and most uncomfortable. On the bright side I have a ton of things to keep me busy. I joined our local MOMs club which has a calendar chock full of activities for Roxas and me to do. My mom and I have been working hard to get the baby shower plans finalized, plus I get to celebrate with my best friend at her own baby shower. I'm also really excited to get together with our photog friend, Jenna, and get some awesome pictures of the belly.

     This is kind of my last "free month" because typical me I plan waaaay ahead. The first week of July brings with it the magical week number 37, also known as full term. I go into full on baby preparedness mode at this point. The bag will be packed, plans will be made, and family will be debriefed on said plans. I'm really hoping for spontaneous labor this time but that also brings a certain element of panic for me. I like control. Control is not something you're allowed to have when it comes to babies. Ever. That was one of the nicer things, actually it was the only nice thing, about being induced. We knew exactly when we were going to the hospital. Now that we have care for Roxas to organize I feel even more slightly panicked at the thought of getting him all set up. I'm sure it will go great but as much as I want to plan and control the situation I know I won't be able to.

     Lucy is accumulating fat at a rapid pace, weighing somewhere between 4 and 5lbs (depending on which book I'm looking in) and is about 18in long. She spends a little more of her day sleeping now, but still spends a good part of her night wiggling around. She's running out of room fast so wiggling is about all she can do. It's a pretty regular occurrence to see a little foot run across my belly like a shark fin in the ocean. Over the past few days she has dropped quite a bit and that of course means she is exerting all kinds of pressure on my lower vascular system and making me twice as uncomfy as I was before. Hopefully she floats her way back up soon, but at least I don't have a foot stuck in between my lower ribs now.

     Adding to my discomfort is my poor little toe on my left foot. I can't even explain it but I managed to slam it in a car door. I had pulled up a little too far in the garage and decided to move it back last night. I hopped in, barefoot, but in a feat I couldn't repeat if I try I slammed just my little toe in the door. Considering the pain, the swelling and purpleness of it I'm pretty sure I broke it. Of course your toes are probably the dumbest thing on the whole human body to break. They seem to hurt way more than they should, and cause way more trouble than they should. Plus there is nothing you can do about it but tape it and wait for it to heal. As if having the same center of gravity of a jersey cow wasn't enough, now I'm even more off balance. Hopefully it can heal quickly and be back to normal soon.

     We have another doctor appointment on Friday, and Roxas has his 15 month check up as well so it will be a fun day for both of us. At least my appointment won't involve shots! Poor kiddo has been cutting his first molars which I'm convinced are evil. He's getting both at once of course and they are only halfway through since starting to break through two weeks ago. Nothing like a cranky, teething baby to keep me busy I guess!

Until next time...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Why I'm a Terrible Parent: According to the internet

      If I had a dollar for ever time my better half told me to stop arguing over the internet I would be rich. As a technologically connected mom I tend to run into all kinds of articles and blog posts that typically cover a dozen or so common topics of the "Mommy Wars" rampaging on the internet. I can be a little defensive when criticized just myself, but criticize our choices in parenting and I can get downright worked up. Even when things aren't directed specifically at me, I still get this defensive feeling. If Kenny hears me sigh or sees the eyes roll while I'm looking at Facebook or any form of internet, usually the comment of "stop it" follows.
      It's only natural, I mean as a parent you would like to think your choices are the best because anything less than that and you're not doing your job right? Well the problem with parenting is: every kid is different. Every family is different. Parenting is NOT a one size fits all kind of thing. The problem with a lot of these mommy wars topics is people are trying to make it that way and in the process are undermining decent parental choices made by others. It's like that "One size fits all" hat I had for Roxas when he was little, that kid has an abnormally large head (seriously it's off the growth chart) and trying to cram a giant noggin into a cute little hat just results in a lot of crying for both me and the baby.
     Yes, there are some things that have been studied and deemed the safest/best choice for children (for now) and should be listened to. Of course, in 20 something years they will do another study and find out that the best/safest choice in 2013 might as well been a recommendation to allow your child to play with wild rhinos. It's just how the world works. Don't be an idiot, although in today's society that might be asking a lot, and make the choices that work best for your family and I'm willing to bet your kids will turn out just fine. Or at least make it to 18.
        Now, I'm not claiming sainthood here. I've done my fair share of parent bashing, although I try to just keep my comments and thoughts to myself. I've mentally criticized another parent on their choices when honestly they just weren't the ones I'd make. I need to get better about that and take some of my own advice and just shut up. I realize my choices might be great for our family, or they might not be and I'll learn, but they may not be great for another family. Just because it's not the choice I would make, doesn't mean it's wrong.
     I was reading the comments section on an article regarding car seat safety. If you've never done this I encourage you to sit and have a good laugh. It's very entertaining. Anyways, all kinds of stuff got brought up and it got me thinking about what I would probably get nailed to the message board wall for if I admitted it on the internet. So, get your pitchforks out and assemble the mob...

15 Reasons I'm An Awful Parent According to the Internet

1) I fed my baby commercially made jarred baby food, oh the humanity, instead of organic home cooked food. I'd also like to add that I feed Roxas those little "graduates" microwave meals on occasions when I'm just too pooped to make something. Yes, I'm a horrible person.

2) I did 3d/4d/HD and any other kind of scan they could dream up. Those 15 minute scans have probably done irreparable damage to my kids. Those scans are completely unsafe! I must be so selfish to put the life of my children over my wants.

3) I gave my one year old a bite of a chipmates (they weren't even chips ahoy) cookie. Yup, he will definitely get diabetes. I also let my one year old have a sip of soda. A sip. Surely he will be doomed to a life of obesity.

4) I fed my baby formula after my milk dried up due to the pregnancy rather than try to seek out donated milk.

5) We let our son cry it out (within reason- we wouldn't let him cry for 2,3 or 4 hours) after 6 months of age. According to the internet he will be severely brain damaged now.

6) I put our infant carrier on the shopping cart. This is a biggie and I KNOW, I's "not safe" yadda yadda yadda. Chances are I will still do it with Lucy, get over it. I could risk their lives in much more creative ways.

7) I don't strap everything down (purse, cell, blanket, toy, sippy cup) in the car. Again I refer you to number 6. The risk is small enough for me to be alright with it.

8) I vaccinate. I vaccinate myself, our son, the dogs and I try my best with the husband. Surely one of us is going to be autistic at some point.

9) I eat a bunch of crap. I love food, I love fresh food...I usually can't afford fresh food. This results in eating a lot of things that come out of boxes, and drive thru windows. Then what fresh fruits and veggies we can afford are probably loaded with hormones, genetically modified who knows what and probably at least 7 carcinogens. We're all doomed, but at least our belly's are full.

10) I gave our son a pacifier (or binky, or dummy, or whatever you call it). He now only gets it at nap time or bedtime but surely this means he will be some co-dependent mooch the rest of his life.

11) I give Roxas juice, and let's toss milk in too while we're on the subject of beverages. Now at least it's 100% actual juice diluted at least 50:50 with water but still I might as well be giving him antifreeze. You know...since it's sweet and deadly.*cricket* ok Then I give him whole milk, from a cow. Oh the horror. I should be giving him soy milk with all that lovely natural estrogen in it, because that's what little boys need right? It's milk. It's not the end of the world.

12) I let Roxas play with my phone/kindle/xbox/any piece of technology that will entertain him. I also let him watch TV. His brain is turning to mush as we speak.

13) I drink soda, diet soda at that, while pregnant. I do actually keep track of the caffeine level I take it but other than can pry my diet dr. pepper can out of my cold, dead, cancer riddled body.

14) I don't teach Roxas stuff, well intentionally at least. I actually feel really guilty about this one. We don't read books really (he'd rather throw them) and we don't do flash cards or teach him shapes. I just play with him and hope we don't end up with the kid who can't count to 5 by kindergarten.

15) Every moment is not rainbow puppies and unicorn hearts. For some reason moms are expected to enjoy every single moment like it is somehow the best of their lives. Yeah there are those moments but when your kid has thrown the last toy out of the cart and is screaming when you still have half a grocery list to kind of just want to leave them there.

     So. There you have it. I have nothing but excuses for that list, not one valid irrefutable reason as to why, and you know what? Who really cares? Besides the angry mob of internet mommies out there convinced I should be arrested for child abuse. He's our kid, and it's our family. I know my choices have consequences, and I'm choosing to accept all the risks that come with them. I'm even willing to admit here in the open internet: some of my choices could be better. Maybe I'll work on it. I probably won't but why not be optimistic here.

     So, if you don't judge me then I won't judge you. I won't roll my eyes next time you post something about how awful _________ is. I won't silently judge you when I see you've made a choice opposite of mine. I will assume you have your reasons for choosing to live the way you do and continue to live my life the way I do. Can't we all just get along? Probably not but I tried.